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Fees & Fee Entitlement

Client: Privately owned property development company
Situation: The case concerned delayed completion and increased costs in the construction of two mixed use buildings, involving employer’s claims against various consultants, with allegations of late, incomplete and defective design information (including issues of buildability); disputes over the scope of the architect’s services; non-payment of the architect’s fees; and claims about incorrect advice on procurement.  Probyn Miers was appointed to provide an opinion on standards of architectural design, workmanship and contract administration.
Action: Probyn Miers issued reports during litigation on subjects as instructed by the client’s solicitors.
Result: Probyn Miers provided an expert opinion on the matters in dispute.

 

Client: Insurers for international award winning architects
Situation: After winning an international design competition and developing the design through to the building being partly constructed, these international award winning architects were removed from the project by the client. The architects considered they had a substantial fee claim for variations and other fees outstanding.  The employer submitted a counterclaim in relation to various other matters on the project concerning access, integration of M&E services, and fulfilment of the design brief.
Action: Probyn Miers analysed the RIBA Work Stage completion of the various stages of the project in relation to architect’s information and the architect’s fee claim.  We also analysed critical areas of alleged defective design and/or workmanship.
Result: The matter settled following a mediation.

 

Client: Multi-national construction consortium
Situation: This case concerned a claim for non-payment of fees for the design and administration of employer’s variations in the construction of a major transport infrastructure project, involving disputes over the standard and timeliness of the design information provided.  Probyn Miers opinion was required on whether the architectural design work met the standard required by the contract and on whether the fees claimed for variations were reasonable.
Action: Probyn Miers provided opinions and advice.
Result: Probyn Miers provided an expert opinion on the matters in dispute.

 

Client: Solicitor for house owner.
Situation: The owner of a historic house retained an architect to produce sets of drawings for planning and listed building applications to renovate the house and its associated outbuildings.  The owner considered that the fees subsequently invoiced by the architect were excessive in relation to the work performed and the advancement achieved through the RIBA work stages.
Action: Probyn Miers examined the architect’s drawings, invoices and related material with a view to assessing the quality and advancement of the work, and its status in relation to the fees charged.  Probyn Miers found that whilst the work had largely advanced to the stage claimed by the architect, there were significant anomalies concerning work which the architect retrospectively claimed to be additional to the fee agreement.  There was also a lack of sufficient or timely clarity concerning the provisional valuation of building work upon which the architect had based its fee percentage.
Result: The house owner was thereby provided with information useful for reaching a fair settlement with the architect.

 

Client: Architect
Situation: Feasibility studies, outline and detail designs had been prepared for a vacant site in the same town as the clients’ existing hotel. The architect was appointed on a standard RIBA appointment.  Designs for two different schemes were prepared by the architect.  The clients withheld substantial fees for both schemes.  The architect referred the dispute to adjudication.
Action: Probyn Miers was appointed after the adjudication had started to give expert opinion on the architect’s performance, on whether contracted services had been completed and on whether the architect had been instructed to prepare a second scheme, which would entitle him to additional fees (which would be calculated at hourly rates).  The architect had been appointed on a RIBA standard form.  The clients maintained that the architect had not followed their instructions on the first scheme or alternatively that the resulting designs did not comply with their brief.  Investigation showed that the architect was entitled to substantial additional fees.  The first scheme incorporated the clients’ initial aspirations for the development and it had been used by them at the same time as the second scheme was developed from a brief revised by the clients after receipt of advice from hotel consultants.
Result: The architect was awarded substantial fees by the adjudicator.


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